What happened to you, doesn’t define who you are

One of the biggest pitfalls when dealing with trauma, is for people to see things from a position of victimhood. We feel that something has happened TO us, something outside ourselves, something beyond our control. This could be another person, or a whole group, divine intervention, karma, nature, or just bad luck… We search for a reason behind what happened, as if there must be some all-encompassing explanation for everything. When we can’t find one, we can’t make peace with what happened. Partly because of other people’s advice, we eventually force ourselves to ‘get over it’ and forget about it.

We explain it away by blaming others for what happened: God, Universe, men, fate, anyone but ourselves. This is usually the classic way of ego, especially when this happens subconsciously. We’re unable to see what really happened, what our role was, and we certainly don’t acknowledge responsibility. With frustration, disbelief, anger, and incomprehension, the only acceptable explanation is that it’s someone else’s fault. We’re victims, we didn’t want this, so we aren’t to blame for anything. And the ones that did this to us, need to solve it and take care of our healing.

To deny responsibility for our own life, is deeply rooted in western society and the collective consciousness. If not through church or family, it’s the rat-race for money. From early age we learn to look to others for solutions. When someone was bad to us, it absolves us from our own responsibilities concerning the whole thing. Don’t get me wrong, we’re not responsible for the feelings and behaviour of others. People are responsible for their own emotions and wrongdoings. But we have a choice in how we respond, and what we hold on to. This also goes for the past, especially when it comes to trauma.

Blaming others is easy

When we feel bad, unbalanced, or something doesn’t go our way, we easily look for external reasons. We automatically blame our partner, children, colleagues, or people in traffic. We don’t think about this and eventually, it happens sort of automatically. At macro level, western culture is strongly based on pointing at others. “Other countries have unfair laws, that damage our economy”. “Prices rise, because there’s a war going on somewhere”. “We loose in sports, because opponents don’t have the same moral standards we (falsely) claim we hold ourselves to”. And of course, people will always blame minorities for what the majority is lacking.

Many people in modern spirituality also have an excuse for everything. Especially unhealed people will avoid having to take responsibility for their unhealthy behaviour. They’ll blame the moon, horoscopic mismatches, or other people’s energy blockages. In conflicts it’s always the other person who is immature and has not evolved enough spiritually. “I will feel better if others would do more inner work… be in their divine masculine… heal their inner child…” This is nothing but spiritual ego.

I’ve seen this often with unhealed women (especially in tantra), including my ex-partner. She was stuck in some delusion that she has had a rapid awakening and was, therefore, completely healed. Keeping this up for years, she buried her childhood traumas deeper away. Every argument we had, was by definition my fault… I’m never right, because she can’t be wrong. Many tantra women truly believe they have healed and (most) men haven’t. They twist and manipulate stories about (sacred) feminity/masculinity to fit their narratives. I’ve carried that cross on my back for years, feeling guilty for simply having a penis, thus never being good enough. Understanding this insight became a crucial step for my transformation into who I truly am.

Distortions in childhood

Much of our subconscious behaviour as an adult, has a basis in (early) childhood. When I wrote about The False Light, I described how the process of crystallization can turn into calcification as result of distortions in energy (like experiencing trauma). What’s important, is that calcification also leads to fragmentation of development of our personality and even conscious awareness. At that moment, the entirety of personality no longer develops as one whole, but as two or more separate fragments. Especially after childhood trauma some parts can come to a standstill or develop very slowly and gradually.

When someone ‘has the emotional maturity of a child’, this is the process behind that. Current situations trigger specific emotional energies, that (subconsciously) connect to events from childhood. The subsequent behaviour is motivated by the development of that part of their personality. If this is a fragment, they may be stuck in the emotional maturity they had at that time, (re)acting as if they’re still that child. When we look at our childhood…

Did we feel safe at home? Did we receive love? Could we express emotions fully? Did we explore and investigate the world with childish curiosity? Were we allowed to be ourselves, or to cry? Did we grow up when we were ready, or because circumstances forced us to?

Young children (between 4 and 9-ish), need their parents, and especially their mother, to be a safe place. They don’t need to be there all the time, quite the contrary, but children need the assurance that there’s a safe place if and when they need it. This trust and the bond developing from it, are often incomplete and sometimes even absent. Also, some parents have good intentions, but are meanwhile dealing with their own (trust) issues. This situation often develops into distorted relationships.

Beliefs

Ego has to do with beliefs we develop for ourselves during childhood. I’m not talking about teachings from our parents, or school, church, TV, etc. Beliefs are mostly things children have told themselves to explain what was happening and how they felt at that time. When parents are angry or sad, children may feel it’s because of them. “I’ve done something bad… why else would mummy cry?” This example is innocent, but how would a child explain violence, sexual abuse, grave injustices… Not just the happenings themselves, but particularly the emotions involved.

Especially HSP children (read my story about this) are empathic and easily sense and absorb emotions from their parent(s). But they can’t understand, because they don’t have that capacity and framework yet. Particularly when parents are emotionally closed, confused, unstable, or when there are discrepancies with behaviour. Think of the torture society has put children through during the covid-scam. They must have absorbed so much fear, yet many still understood it didn’t make any sense. Parents, school and TV told children, that if they didn’t do this or that, other people (like grandparents) will die. It was insane mass-psychosis for adults, and many children intuitively popped that bubble. But how have they ‘digested’ this all internally?

Children explain their parents’ (and society’s) behaviour through their own limited framework. It’s often strongly based on just good or bad… the world of an 8 year old is very understandable. Many adults have never truly left that stage of thinking, and (subconsciously) still see everything as either good or bad. American society is based on this oversimplified concept, and Hollywood reinforces that world-view. It’s us versus them, and if you’re not with us, you’re against us. Us is always good, even when it’s clearly not, so them must therefore be bad.

Manipulation

Carl Jung explains how children see themselves as the centre of their world (read this post). Anything that happens, children automatically connect to themselves. What happens when children get bullied, and aren’t allowed to be part of the ‘us’ in school? Or children that are always part of ‘them’ in society, because of skin-colour or their parents’ religion? What happened when a grandparent died during the covid-scam… how has the child explained this for themselves? The guilt they must feel is just… criminal.

When parents tell their children they’ll be sad or disappointed if the child doesn’t behave well, that child subconsciously hears they’re not worthy of love… unless they do things against their will and follow authority. It took me decades to understand my father’s question ‘why I wasn’t like normal children’. In the end, obedience is rewarded, everything else gets punished. What about parents that are inconsistent in behaviour… one day hot, next day cold? Or when authority betrays our trust? What if family is not a safe place? What does it mean when expectations (like school grades) are too high? That child believes it’s not worthy of love, because it’s not smart enough.

We call this growing up and building of character, but at what price… These are serious trust damages. All the child can do, is create some sort of belief to explain how they feel. With the limited means children have, it’ll be distorted. This works similarly at the other end of the spectrum. When we don’t allow children to make mistakes (like little accidents), they don’t experience their own boundaries. By overprotecting them, children miss out on essential learning experiences and become disconnected from reality. In fact, when they’re also glued to their phone, they connect to a fake reality, believing that it’s real.

Embrace or suffocation

At the same time, giving them no boundaries and allowing anything and everything, won’t make them feel safe either. Human nature is to feel safe when we’re held tight. That’s why we wrap babies in a blanket, and hold our children close when they’re emotional. Adults are no different in this, as we feel love and safety in the arms of our loved ones. But it’s not just about the physical connection. Many people feel comfortable with strict laws and tight regulations. In times of crisis many people turn to ‘leaders’ who are the most repressive. They feel protected and taken care of. There’s no need to think for yourself (thus risking mistakes)… just do as you’re told.

It’s exactly how children think… follow the masses and obey authorities to not feel unloved. That’s different from feeling loved, which is precisely my point. The desire to feel loved is strong, but the fear of not-being-loved even stronger. Many people settle for unsatisfying relationships, not because that makes them happy, but being alone scares them shitless. They’ll settle for anything, just to have something, and not end up with nothing. Again, this is the thinking of a child. During the covid-scam many people ‘followed orders’, so no one could hold them accountable for… whatever. Dutch authorities had misleading vaccine-campaigns that said: ‘you’re not doing it for yourself, but for someone else’.

Most adults consistently avoid taking responsibility for themselves, without being aware of it. They’ll look at others for directions, following hypes and public opinion, copy-pasting to fit in. There’s always fear of being left behind, and they’re afraid of not-being-loved. This is also how people see others, as we become the norm that we measure others by. Any critical thinker, happy single, or black sheep, can confirm from own experiences.

Stuck with our beliefs

But this is no life-sentence… nothing is truly permanent. Our beliefs have served us well, they made sense at that time. Now that we’re adults, these beliefs are no longer needed, and they’re no longer valid. That’s not what ego (mind and emotions) seems to make us believe, though. Even in different situations we can experience the same traumatic sensations again. It doesn’t matter what has happened, it’s how we feel about it. And we keep finding confirmation in friendships, work, relationships, our own family… different situation with same feelings and similar behaviour. It’s familiar stuff… better the devil you know, than the devil you don’t. We can never grow beyond that level of awareness, so it becomes our limit.

I talked about fragmentation as a result of the calcification process. We see part of someone’s personality stuck in childhood, while most of the rest has developed further. This can be the result of, e.g., not-feeling safe, not-receiving love, and emotional absence of parents. These are slow, long-lasting traumas with usually several events along the way. As a result, the child believes it doesn’t deserve love. These children often become people pleasers as adults. They believe they can only receive love if they never say ‘no’, accept everything, and take care of everyone else first. Other children grow up to believe that they’ll always fail, so why even try…

A red thread in this is that people keep looking outside themselves. People pleasers and negative failures both need approval from others to feel good about themselves. What happens if they don’t get this confirmation? Who does the child/adult consider responsible for the situation? It’s the same others that now make them feel like a failure, or that they’re not doing enough. This world-view may be simple, but it explains everything.

Changing our beliefs

As adults, we can change the childhood beliefs we once constructed to survive. We first have to become aware of them and then understand why we created them. Take your time with this… it’s more important to see things from all angles, than to do this quickly. I’ve often talked about the important role travelling can play in this. It forces us to see things from different perspectives, take responsibility in the moment, and to seriously step out of our comfort zone (read this blog post). To put it in other words… we can not remain a child when we travel, we need to grow up!

This is also what healing is about. Change your perspective from that of a child to that of the adult that you are. But true healing can only take place in a safe and supportive environment. It’s one thing to let go of childhood beliefs, it’s another to replace them with healthy and mature ones, when circumstances around you are just as unsafe as before. What happens in healthy healing, is that you take out the calcified part and get rid of it. Then replace what it stood for, with a connection to the current version of you and let it grow to connect well. If you do that in an unsafe environment, though, it only re-enforces the original trauma.

In fact, many people literally don’t escape childhood circumstances. Not only will many never become aware of anything, most don’t realize their circumstances are unsafe. Some people cling to their parents their entire lives, living in the same area, having the same group of friends. And they often end up in a relationship with someone who resembles one or both of their parents. They settle into routine to find a false sense of safety.

Disconnecting

A safe environment is crucial in healing, regardless the method… if it’s not safe, don’t start. You may need to try several to find what works for you. Some want psychotherapy, while others need a spiritual approach, like meditation techniques, psychedelics, or somatic techniques and bodywork. I sometimes give clients healing massage, in which I activate body and prana to initiate self-healing. These methods aren’t necessarily all-resolving in themselves, but they’ll support parts of your process and work together. And how about connecting with nature, taking care of your body, enjoying art, taking rest, making music. It all works together.

Whatever the trauma is, healing starts with the right intentions. You need to want to heal. You can’t let go of any trauma, if part of it is still how you believe the world works. It was once necessary to understand the world around us, but not anymore. Things like: ‘all men cheat’, ‘people in uniform can’t be trusted’, and the classic ‘I’m always the victim’. None of it has to be true, it actually almost never is… what matters is whether you believe it to be true.

If you believe that, it means it’s important to you. Which means it has ‘power’ over you… and you can never be free. You need to let go of importance… that is essential. You also need to be responsible for how you feel about yourself and your life. No one else has that power over you, anyway. Others may have done something bad (or did nothing when they should have), but that doesn’t define who you are. You need to realize, YOU are the one holding on to your trauma, not them. And that means… you can also let it go. In fact… you are the only one with that power!

Let it go

The crucial first step, is that you need to change your mindset. As Wayne Dyer said: “Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at change”. Of course you couldn’t do this as a child, but now as an adult, you can… and you should. Become aware of the whole situation and first take responsibility for every part of it. This includes everything you feel that happened TO you. Then, see things for what they truly are NOW. Not in the past, not how you feel about them, or occupy yourself with opinions. What is really there and what not. Intense meditation techniques, like Vipassana, could help you in this process.

Next is to make the conscious decision to no longer want what is there. This is not about changing what has happened, so don’t try to undo the past. You won’t succeed, anyway. But you can change how you feel about what happened. It’ll likely be too early to feel compassion, let alone gratitude, but later you may actually get to that point. For now, acceptance already allows you to feel neutral, and this will begin to open the door. Once you accept what is really there, and you’re no longer interested in fighting it, feeling sad about it, or blaming it… it starts to lose its importance. The belief (never the original trauma) changes shape and starts to dissolve.

That is when you can let go, even if it happens in steps. You can do it… this last step turns out to be the easiest one of all. Just be kind to yourself and compassionate. Nothing changes overnight and your body needs time to adjust to the new situation. If you want to talk or need help, contact me… I am here for you.

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